WBO title fight is goal for Stephen Simmons
Edinburgh's Stephen Simmons believes fate has brought him the opportunity to stake his claim for a shot at the WBO world cruiserweight title.
The 32-year-old takes on German boxer Noel Gevor tonight in an International title fight in Hamburg fully aware of the potential rewards should he see off his undefeated opponent.
Victory over Gevor (21-0) would put the Scot in pole position to challenge WBO world champion Oleksandr Usyk, a fighter he was due to face in April before the Ukrainian withdrew from the bout due to a knee ligament injury sustained whilst training.
Having registered his 15th victory as a professional just 12 days ago with a win over another German, Lars Buchholz, in Glasgow, Simmons believes tonight’s duel couldn’t have come at a better time for the MGM star.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a while now,” Simmons admitted. “I was due to fight for the Inter-Continental title against Usyk in April but that fell through which was really disappointing and he held off for the mandatory challenge for the full-blown world title which he now has.
“Fights happen for a reason and I think this is fate as it really couldn’t have landed at a better time for myself. I’ve just come off the back of another win, I’ve been training for 12 rounds so it’s perfect.
“It’s going to be a hard fight, especially with it being in Germany but I’m very confident of going over there and doing a job. It’s always a bonus if you can take somebody’s undefeated record. To be honest I’ve got a 100 per cent record against German fighters, both as an amateur and professional, so I’ll be looking to keep that intact whilst taking the belt off him.”
However, the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist insists he won’t look beyond his career-defining clash with Gevor.
“This is one step away from fighting for a world title so it’s a massive opportunity,” he said. “Gevor is currently No. 1 in the WBO so he’s next in line to fight Usyk. So taking that spot would give me the opportunity to fight for the world title. But I cannot even think about looking beyond tomorrow night first as this is going to be the toughest one I’ve faced as a pro.”